One Exercise Everyone Can (and Should) Do
If you know me personally, you know I think exercise is an absolute essential for “Health As It Ought To Be”
In my own life I exercise quite frequently.
One reason I dedicated several days of the week to various types of exercise is because I enjoy the feeling I get by pushing my body.
The second reason is obvious enough. I know across the board that exercise (combined with a healthy diet) is an almost guaranteed pathway to living a life where my health is at its highest levels.
But here’s the thing.
Not everyone can, or wants to exercise like I do.
I get that.
I used to play collegiate soccer for Wake Forest University, and since I was an athlete it makes sense that I’d continue working out hard later in life.
But what happens if you’re not as young as me…
Or you’ve got bad knees and can’t lift weights?
What happens if you just don’t have the time to exercise for an hour plus a day?
Are there any options for you?
The good news is yes there are.
The even better news is there’s a near perfect exercise everyone can enjoy that’ll do wonders for your health.
Sorry if that was anti-climatic…
The truth is walking is actually a great way to meet your need for daily physical activity. Plus it’s a great way to get it without subjecting your body to the impact or strain associated with other exercises.
Which makes it perfect for just about anyone.
Let me show you some of the top reasons you should be walking daily below.
Bet You Didn’t Know Walking Could Do This…
1. Walking Helps Increase Heart Health:
Researchers have determined that walking briskly (not ambling, but with purpose…where your heart is beating harder than normal) can help with heart health.
In fact it was shown to reduce the risk of first time hypertension by as much as 7.2 percent!
In a 6 year study of 15,045 walkers part of the “National Walker’s Health Study” conducted by the Berkeley National Laboratory it was found both high blood pressure and the risk of having poor heart health were reduced when people walked.
The study’s author, Paul Williams Ph.D. said, “Walking (and running) provide an ideal test of the health benefits of moderate-intensity walking and vigorous-intensity running because they involve the same muscle groups and the same activities performed at different intensities,”
How fast do you need to be going exactly?
Surgeon General Vivek Murthy said If you can walk fast enough where singing would be difficult, but talking is doable, then you’re moving at the right pace and your body is benefitting tremendously.
To get the full effects from walking it’s helpful to engage in at least 30 minutes of walking per day.
2. Walking Can Help Maintain Blood Sugar Levels:
This is pretty cool. If you walk for 15 minutes right after every meal it could seriously decrease your chances of developing meatabolic syndrome.
The reason why?
Walking directly after a meal can help maintain blood sugar levels.
Loretta DiPietro, professor and chair of the department of exercise science at the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services said when you walk after a meal it “really blunts the rise in blood sugar.”
In fact when you walk right after a meal it was even shown to lower blood sugar levels for up to 3 hours!
That’s as effective as some medications…great news for anyone who’s pre-diabetic or wants to maintain a healthy body weight.
Now if you can’t walk right after you eat, that’s OK.
You just need to walk a little bit longer. 45 minutes as opposed to 15.
The good news is the benefits are still there, and hey, walking for 45 minutes gives you more of a chance to see the sights and meet some new people…if you’re into that kind of thing…
3. It Helps Fight Weight Gain:
This one isn’t as obvious but it’s still been proven to be true.
Walking employs a simple law of physics we know as the law of the conservation of energy.
This isn’t as technical as you think.
Here’s the definition: “The law of conservation of energy is a law of science that states that energy cannot be created or destroyed, but only changed from one form into another or transferred from one object to another.”
Basically when you walk you’re burning the calories from the good you are.
And when you burn more calories than you consume you’ll lose weight.
It’s that simple.
So people who walk enough to go into something known as a “caloric deficit” actively fight weight gain in the process.
The interesting thing about all of this is just how effective walking is at burning calories.
An hour of walking can burn as many as 300-400 calories.
Which is pretty astounding, especially when you consider it only takes 20 minutes of walking to reduce your risk of premature death by as much as 30%.
4. Walking Is Easy:
Let’s be honest, this is the reason you should be walking.
It requires no special talent or skill.
It’s easy to get started and the cost of walking equipment is ZERO (if you walk barefoot, $40 for some shoes).
It exposes you to fresh air, the outdoors, new sights and sounds with very little effort.
Heck, it can even save you money (walk to work instead of driving).
And it doesn’t require any training.
That’s how easy and awesome walking can be.
Truthfully just about every single person who steps into my office, or any doctor’s office, should be able to engage in this exercise with ease.
Which is why I can’t recommend it enough.
Want to learn more?
Here’s an interesting video covering even more benefits associated with walking.